Traditionally, in Odisha, food was being served in plates made up of copper alloy. We have seen saints using copper alloy pots to store water and drink from it.
Unfortunately, after stainless steel is popularized, those are gradually replaced; and now hardly we see any serving in copper utensils. Those people who had such utensils have managed to keep those stored somewhere in the corner of their house as non performing assets.
We should not think that the copper alloy utensils were used by our forefathers without any reason. They might have rightly picked up the metal for its health benefits.
Sometime back, it was in news that copper surfaces in hospitals help to prevent hospital borne infection to spread.
Now, in a recent research, it has been proved that copper alloy helps to kill bacteria like E. Coli, those are responsible for food poisoning in a number of cases.
Copper mixed with metals such as nickel, iron, chromium, phosphorous and tin that varied in their copper concentration from 60 to 99.9 percent kills susceptible bacteria.
Copper is harmful to bacteria because it reacts with oxygen present in the atmosphere, a process called oxidation that produces a residue, which is toxic to some bacteria. Oxidation is what makes pure copper change in color over time from a rusty gold to a watery green.
The bacteria cells sometimes died out on copper surfaces within hours, while they survived for up to two weeks on stainless steel.
Pure copper may also be toxic to human, but we can go back and use it in form of an alloy as our predecessors used it; and get the health benefits.
Published in MedicalXpress